''Design has to be part of function, that's the secret of success. When you have function and design, married together, you always have a successful item.''
Aldo Cipullo (1935-1984)
On April 2012, Cartier presented an exhibition titled CARTIER & ALDO CIPULLO, NEW YORK CITY IN THE 70s. Curated and designed by Cartier in collaboration with Stefan Beckman, the exhibition took place at the Cartier Mansion and it included 40 jewels as well as drawings, articles and notes.
In 1969, Cartier presented one of its most iconic jewels, the “LOVE BRACELET”, designed by Aldo Cipullo, the son of a renowned Neapolitan jeweler. Inspired by the chastity belt, the bracelet was made of gold and it was decorated with tiny screws that joined the top and bottom halves. The buyer received a small screwdriver that was used to connect the halves. It was an instant success worn by Elizabeth Taylor and Richard Burton, Nancy and Frank Sinatra, Cary Grant and Dyan Cannon, Ali McGraw and Steve McQueen, Sophia Loren and Carlo Ponti, the Duke and Duchess of Windsor.
Aldo left Rome to come to New York when he was 23. Before working for Cartier, he designed for David Webb and Tiffany and soon his love for ancient shapes and legends mixed with his need for modern simple structures became obvious. With the Love Bracelet’s success, Cipullo became a household name.
HITTING THE NAIL ON THE HEAD
In 1971, with Cartier, Aldo conceived the first “NAIL BRACELET”, also inspired by an everyday object, on display at the exhibition. Bold yet chic, it became an emblem of New York City and it is the heart of Cartier's newest JUSTE UN CLOU COLLECTION.
Among the special guests at the launch of the collection, designers Renato and Maria Rosaria Cipullo, Aldo’s brother and sister, Renato’s daughters Monica and Serena and son Massimiliano, Lou Reed, Cartier International President & CEO Bernard Fornas, Pierre Rainero, and later, at the after-party, chic turned into cool with DJ sets by the Misshapes (Geordon Nicol, Leigh Lezark, and Greg Krelenstein), James Murphy, and a surprise performance by Rita Ora. In the crowd, designers Jason Wu and Olivier Theyskens; actresses Lily Collins, Arizona Muse, and Bade Iscil; models Chanel Iman and Karlie Kloss. Beyonce and JayZ showed up just before Rita Ora’s show.
After the experience at Cartier, Aldo started his own design company, Aldo Cipullo Ltd., and in 1974 he won the prestigious Coty American Fashion Critics Award for Jewelry. The American Gem Society commissioned him in 1978 to design a collection of 31 pieces, for men and women, using only American gemstones and metals.
Aldo died at the age of 48 in New York City in January of 1984 after suffering two heart attacks.